Source: Ryan Saavedra
International inspectors from the United Nations have reportedly found new evidence of nuclear activity in Iran that the nation has not reported—in violation of its international obligations—and that could be indicative of work on making nuclear weapons.
The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovered the “new evidence of undeclared nuclear activities” at two sites during inspections last fall, The Wall Street Journal reported, according to multiple diplomats briefed on the situation. The two samples “contained traces of radioactive material” that they believe “could indicate Iran has undertaken work on nuclear weapons, based on where it was found.” The report did not state what specifically was discovered at the two sites.
Iran, which blocked the investigators from inspecting the two sites for more than half of last year, has also reportedly threatened to restrict inspectors ability to access sites later in the coming weeks.
“The IAEA listed in a report in June questions it was asking Iran to clarify on a range of work that could be used for nuclear weapons. One suspicion was Iranian drilling of a uranium metal disc that could be used to create material for a neutron initiator, experts say, a key component of a nuclear weapon,” the report said. “A second suspicion was that nuclear material had been introduced at a site where Iran may have tested high explosives that can be used to detonate a nuclear weapon.”
“The agency is also asking Iran about another undeclared site where illicit uranium conversion and processing may have taken place,” the report added. “All the suspected activities took place in the early 2000s or earlier, according to the agency. Two of the sites were razed years ago. Another site was sanitized by Iran in 2019, the IAEA reported. The IAEA said it has not ruled out that materials from this nuclear work have been used more recently.”